CERN Shuts Down Large Hadron Collider Ahead of Schedule to Save Energy
GENEVA (Sputnik) - The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) halted operation of its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on Monday, two weeks earlier than initially scheduled in an effort to conserve energy amid the growing risk of electricity shortages.
The decision was announced in early October. CERN also said then that the operation of the accelerator complex would be reduced by 20% in 2023.
CERN is the largest high-energy physics laboratory in the world. It is known for experiments involving the LHC, which was created with the participation of physicists from different countries. The collider helped scientists to discover the existence of the Higgs boson elementary particle responsible for the existence of other particles' mass.
The LHC consists of a 17-mile ring of superconducting magnets that have to be cooled to -456 degrees Fahrenheit even when the beam is turned off. The collider consumes a third as much as Geneva and is powered by French electric utility EDF, which has been struggling to fix corrosion problems at its nuclear plants.